Posted on | March 10, 2009
I have helped many friends and colleagues with their resumes and many have also helped with mine. It’s amazing how many of us make simple mistakes when it comes to writing our resume. Here are ten resume tips I have learned about writing an effective resume. Hope they help you.
- Executive Summary is a must – recruiters and hiring managers have maybe 20 secs or less to read each resume, so make it simple for them and summarize in one section why you are a good candidate for the job. This is one of the most important resume tips that many people don’t use.
- Start with Action Verbs - when people don’t have a lot of time, they tend to read on the left hand side of the page, so use juicy verbs that best describe your experience like “led, managed, analyzed, researched, ” instead boring verbs like “did, worked, helped.” Which set of verbs would impress you more if you read it?
- Spell Check - duh. It’s amazing I actually have to include this in this list. I have seen a lot of resumes with spelling errors and it’s just not a great way to make a first impression
- Use Consistent Formatting - even more people actually make this mistake. You may have the best experiences but if your resume looks sloppy and have inconsistent format, it’s another thing that works against you. It’s like a good looking man showing up for a date in his sweat pants. You could be the best guys in the world, but the girl wonders whether you actual care.
- Brag - A resume is a first chance for you to market yourself to a potential employer so you have to sell yourself like you are a product. Take water for example, would you be interested in buying a bottled water if it just said “plain water in a bottle”? what about if it said “refreshing mountain spring water”? Also consider if you are not describing your best experiences in an impressive way but other candidate are, who is more likely to get an interview?
- But don’t lie – It’s one thing to describe your experiences in a favorable light, but it’s another to outright lie. A company will definitely not hire you if they found out you lied. Worse, you could become a story that circulates the Internet if your lie irritated the interviewer enough.
- Always include other interests – like your hobbies and your passions outside of work. Interviewers are human just like you and if you happen to have a hobby that coincides with theirs, you have another way to connect and make a lasting impression. Especially in today’s market where so many people are qualified and applying for the same jobs, it’s important to differentiate yourself somehow.
- Be Succinct – Remember the resume is only a teaser, so you don’t have to include every single experience – just relevant ones to the job you are applying for. Recruiters don’t have time to read paragraphs so use bullets (5 bullets at most per set of experiences and 1-2 lines per bullet.)
- Have Multiple Resumes – Those who only have one resume and use it to apply for all jobs are either lazy or is super focused on only one type of job. Most of us tend to interview for a few different variation of jobs. In that case, tailor your resume to the job you apply for. Don’t leave it up to the recruiter to figure it out. If your resume is too generic and another candidate took the time to tailor his resume for that job, guess who will get the interview?
- Ask People for Feedback - Set your ego aside and ask friends/contacts to give your feedback. It’s amazing how much your resume can improve. Ask at least 2 or 3 people – one that knows your work experience well (they can tell you if you are selling yourself short), one that does not know your experiences wel (they can tell you how you are coming across)l, and ideally also someone in the field you are applying for (they can tell you whether you are using the right buzz words for that field).
Go through these 10 resume tips and see which one you still need to apply to your resume. It may take a little time but it will pay when you get more interviews. If you don’t already have a good resume template, click here to download one for free. For additional resume tips, click here to see 7 other articles. Good Luck out there! Don’t give up. A good job is out there for you. I am always in your corner